Mary Robbins, a doctoral student in Auburn University’s Department of Civil Engineering, recently received the “Future Industry Leader Spotlight Award" from the American Road and Transportation Builder’s Association (ARTBA). This annual award is given to two female students in U.S. universities who have an outstanding academic record and shown great leadership skills both within and outside the academic environment.
Mary began her graduate studies at Auburn in 2007 and has worked closely with the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) since then. Her thesis included an analysis of predicted versus laboratory-measured dynamic modulus from hot-mix asphalt mixtures at the NCAT Pavement Test Track, the effect of vehicle speed on measured pavement strains and strain pulses, and the interaction of those stiffnesses and frequencies in pavement performance prediction using the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) and PerRoad programs. She has sought out research opportunities beyond the test track as well, including her work on a project in Shandong Province, China and visit to the Jiangsu Transportation Research Institute in Nanjing, China.
Mary has given several presentations on her test track research to the NCAT Applications Steering Committee, the NCAT test track sponsors group, and the Transportation Research Board. Her many technical presentations and published journal articles are helping her garner wide recognition in the pavement engineering community. She has worked under the guidance of David Timm, Gottlieb associate professor of civil engineering.
A well-rounded student, Mary has also been involved in campus outreach. She recently joined the Auburn chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a group that uses engineering knowledge and skills to make both local and international advancements in humans' quality of life.
Mary will receive her ARTBA award at the TransOvation Gala Awards Dinner held in Virginia in September 2011.